Red Cabbage

This is an excellent winter vegetable to have with casserole of pheasant.
1 red cabbage
2-3 cooking apples
2 or 3 large onions
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
sherry glass of wine vinegar
What to do
Chop cabbage into 1/4s remove stalk and slice the apples and onions.
Put a layer of cabbage in the saucepan followed by a layer of onions, apples, brown sugar and seasoning. Repeat until you have used up all the vegetables. Pour over the wine vinegar. Cook on a low heat and stir frequently.


Pumpkin Chutney

Pumpkin Chutney is a great accompaniment for all sorts of dishes. I like it on a ploughman’s lunch with good cheddar cheese and homemade bread.

21/2 lbs pumpkin
1lb tomatoes
1/2 ib onions
2oz sultanas
3/4 lb soft dark brown sugar
3/4 ibs caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger, black peppar and allspice,
2 cloves of garlic
1 pint wine vinegar or cider vinegar
What to do
Peel pumpkin, discard seeds and the pith. SLice and cut in pieces. Pour boiling water over tomatoes skin and slice. Peel and slice onions and garlic.
Put all solid ingredients including spices and sugar in the pan. Add vinegar. Boil gently and cook until the mixture is jammy. It will take about 50 minutes, stir frequently and skim.

Pumpkin Curry


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

I love growing pumpkins although rarely successful and this year’s crop was lamentable. About 8 small sized pumpkins was the result of immense effort with many seedlings. I like to grow giant ones and all sorts of strange shaped squashes. The dreams in March are immense but all I end up with is a few orange ones as usual.
Anyway, I made this wonderful pumpkin curry. I mix and match the curry specifications with whatever comes to hand so don’t worry too much about exact measurements. I also added some leaks to the recipe below just because I had some. Careful with the chilies. I got the mixture in my mouth and eyes which is very painful especially wearing contact lens. Serve the dish with rice and drink cider or lager to take the pain away. yoghurt is good for cooling the effects of the chilly and curry.
I love the colour of pumpkins and prefer cooking it as a savoury dish rather than the american way. I also don’t like the festival of haloween but it does mean you can buy very cheap pumpkins in the shops after the 1st November if your own harvest fails.
1 onion
garlic cloves
2 teaspoons of ginger
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
2 tablespoons curry paste
1 1/4 lb of pumpkin chopped up into small pieces
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
vegetable stock
1 can chickpeas
2 chilies
1 large banana

What to do
Fry the onion, chilies and ginger in some oil in one pan add the spices and leave for while until the onion is soft.
Put the pumpkin pieces in a bowl and cover with the curry paste. Fry in some olive oil in another pan.
Add the tomatoes, chilies and stock to the onions. Add the pumkin mix and cook for about 20 minutes. Towards the end, add the banana. Serve with rice and yoghut.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

This is a wonderful light cake that my mother makes. It is simple to make and very heart warming.
250 g unsalted butter
250g castor sugar
4 large eggs
zest of a lemon
250 g self -raising flour
8 tablespoons milk.
For the syrup
juice of 3 lemons and 200g icing sugar

Cream the sugar and buuter. Add the eggs with a little of the flour add the meon zest. Fold the flour into the mixture with milk. Spoon into a cake tin and cook at about 180C for about 45 minutes.
Prepare the syrup whilst the cake is cooking and enjoy a cup of tea. Just put the lemon juice into a suacepan with the icing sugar and heat until the sugar disolves. When the cake is done, spike the top with a skewer and pour the syrup over the top to soak in. Leave in the tin until the cake is cooled.

Crab Apple Jelly


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

Crab Apple Jelly
I am always amazed at the sight of wild crab apples hanging from autumnal branches in the woods where you least expect to see apples. Sometimes there is the sad site of a tree that has lost its load and there is a carpet of apples at its feet. Slowing fermenting in the late indian summer or being nibbled by muntjac deer. Too sour to eat raw they make a lovely jelly and combined with a few sloes or rosehips to add a red glow they form a work of art with the sun glinting through them on the kitchen shelf.

This is a delicious jelly to eat with lamb but can be a useful accompaniment to many dishes. The addition of sloes or rosehips will add a pleasant tinge of red to the jelly. You could also try cranberries. You could leave out the rosemary for a plainer version. You can also add a pint of cider vinegar which gives the jelly a bit of a kick.
A big bag of crab apples
2 hand fuls of rosehips or sloes
You will need to measure the resulting juices but about 3Ibs of sugar for 3 pints of liquid but this will depend on how much you obtain from your apples.
Sprigs of rosemary.

Every pint of liquid use a lb of sugar
Collect a bag of wild crab apples avoiding heavily bruised ones. About 3 lb.
Wash the apples and chop into quarters. Put them in a preserving pan and cover with water. Then cook until they all go soft and mash them up a bit with a wooden spoon.
Cook up the rosehips or sloes in a separate pan with water and cook until they go mushy and then add the mush to the main mix.
Pour all the mix into a jelly bag and leave overnight for the juice to drip out. You are left with a clear juice.
Simmer the liquid in a pan (about 20 minutes) with the sprigs of resemary to create an infusion then strain back into the preserving pan.
Measure the liquid and then add 1 lbs of sugar for every pint of liquid. Boil rapidly until a set is obtained. The sound of boiling will change and it goes frothy on top. Use a saucer from the freezer to test the set by putting a dropof the liquid back in the freezer for a minute or two to cool. Test to see if it has set.
Skim the liquid and then pour into heated jars. As they cool put a fresh sprig of rosemary into each jar for decoration.

Use your loaf

Use your loaf

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

I always make my own bread but one of my contacts on Flickr-Falling Sky- posted his results of using a recipe from the Guardian. I tried it out and was impressed by the taste and airy nature of the final loaf. It uses the sponge method of soaking half the flour in the water and yeast for several hours. By a strange coincidence there was a TV programme on just this topic last night- The Hairy Bakers.
I have adapted my own recipe to make a batch of 3 loaves using the Kenwood mixer with dough hook.

For the sponge:
1 1/2 Ibs of strong white flour.
2-3 level teaspoons of dried yeast.
1 1/2 pints of warm water

For the dough
1 1/2 Ibs of strong wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 oz of butter.
Put the water in the large mixing bowl and add the yeast. Add the flour and give it a quick blitz with the dough hook to stir it up. Leave for several hours with a tea towel over the top. This is the sponge and it will rise up as the yeast gets to work.
When ready, rub the butter into the second half of the flour – I like some wholemeal mixed in but you can use all white. Mix into the sponge and it may be necessary to add a little more water to create a sticky mix. Leave again and give it a quick knead with the dough hook 30 minutes later. Leave for another 30 minutes and then take out and knead on a surface until its nice and smooth. Don’t add too much flour to stop it sticking. You can oil the board if you want. Then shape and put in to the bread tins. Leave again until they have doubled in size in the tins. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in a hot oven – 200C in my fan assisted oven for 30 minutes does the trick. Tap the bottoms and they should sound hollow.

Blackcurrant sorbet


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

It is a shame that redcurrants and blackcurrants come to fruition at the same time! This weekend has been a frantic cooking time.
The blackcurrants are difficult to pick. They hide away beneath the leaves but we got two huge bowls full. There are various methods for making sorbet but this is mine.
Blackcurrants 1 large bowl
1 pint water
12 oz castor sugar
Lemon juice and zest.

I wash the berries first. To release the juices, I put them – berries and stalks in the preserving pan with a little water and heat. This helps get some of the juices going but there is nothing for it. You have to put the lot through the sieve and mash the juices out. This is hard work and you have to be careful otherwise the kitchen looks like a chain-saw masacre. The juices can get everywhere! Just do a little at a time.
I make up a syrup with 1 pint of water and 12 oz castor sugar, add the lemon juice and zest and boil for a few minutes. Cool.
Mix the blackcurrant juice and syrup. I use half and half and then taste. It is a fine balance between having the sorbet too tart or too sugary.
Put in the fridge to cool and then pour into the ice -cream maker for about 15 minutes until slushy. If you haven’t got an ice-cream maker then put in a container into the freezer and stir the mixture up every 1/2 hour or so to stop ice crystals forming.

The effort is worth it. This is one of the best sorbets with an intense flavour.